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Tottenville History

September 11, 1776 Peace Conference Reenactment

September 11, 1776 Peace ConferenceReenactment
I’ll be honest, when I think of September 11th, the year that immediately jumps into my mind is 2001, not 1776.  The reenactment, though, of the PeaceConference of 1776 at the Conference House this year held on September 10th was a fitting reminder of the previous history of that date without forgetting the significance of the date in 2001.
Peace failed on both these historic days, but America, with much pain and sacrifice, did survive both events.  May we learn from this date that however elusive peace may seem, it must always be our first, and most predominant goal.
The opening ceremony at 11am featured the Staten Island Pipers, with a moment of silence & tribute in memory of those who died onSeptember 11, 2001. 
The activities of the day around the Reenactment included Conference House tours, colonial music with dancing, craft and cooking demonstrations, as well as children’s activities of kite-making, calligraphy, butterchurning and candle making.  Booths were set up with vendors selling modern and colonial gifts, with refreshments available.
The reenactment event began at 12:30pm when a rowboat carrying John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Edward Rutledge, and a British hostage left Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
The highlight of the event was at 1pm when the colonists disembarked from the rowboat onto the Conference House Beach.  Admiral Lord Richard Howe met them, and together climbed to the top of the hill outside of the front door of theConference House to attempt a compromise to avert the Revolutionary War.
(The actual Peace Conference was inside of the building, but to accommodate visitors with a better view of the meeting, each year the reenactment is outdoors.)
Before the war, Lord Howe and Benjamin Franklin were friends in London.  They tried to find a way for a peaceful solution.  Representing the Continental Congress, Franklin introduced Adams and Rutledge to Howe as they sat cordially around the table.  The actual conference lasted three hours as they tried to reach a compromise.
Howe stressed the advantage to the colonists to be part of the British Empire.  The delegates reiterated the colonies voted for independence after past indignities, tryingto convince Howe of the ways that an independent nation would be a benefit to England.
As they tried to negotiate peace, they were destined to fail.  The Continental Congress representatives only had the authority to work for peace through independence from England.  The King’s representative, Lord Howe, had instructions that the King would never allow the colonies their freedom.  With these conditions set firmly in place, there was no common ground with which to reach a settlement.
Photographs generously contributed to this blog post by Jaclyn Lurker.
More Conference HousePark Information:
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1 Comment to September 11, 1776 Peace Conference Reenactment:

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Emily Suess on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 1:27 PM
Great job with the prompt. Thanks for participating in the contest and good luck!
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